Brazil's quarter-final against Belgium will be their biggest test so far and this meeting pits arguably the two best sides remaining in the competition against each other.
Brazil put in an efficient performance against Mexico, causing various complaints from their fans across the globe. Some supporters believe a defensive collapse is just around the corner.
Neymar came in for some criticism after rolling around on the touchline. But given he provided the moment of inspiration to open the scoring in the Round of 16 match and also played a big part in the second goal, it is unlikely he will give it too much thought.
The diminutive playmaker makes things happen but he can do so thanks to a platform put in place by a wily manager and a number of highly gifted players who complement each other well in Tite's system.
Here's why Tite's system is proving so effective.
The Tite Effect
Brazil’s head coach, Tite, spent time away from management in 2014 — two years after his Corinthians side defeated Chelsea against the odds in the Club World Cup.
He visited the old continent to expand his horizons to prepare for the Brazil job which would surely be his after the 2014 World Cup — a tournament which he also absorbed. (In the end, the CBF gave the job to Dunga before eventually seeing sense and appointing Tite in June 2016).
While on sabbatical in Europe, Tite studied the way the game is played by the top clubs and also the way top bosses go about their business in terms of man management.
Soaking up the ideas of the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Zinedine Zidane and Arsene Wenger, Tite adopted an attitude not dissimilar to his opposite number in the last sixteen clash, Mexico’s Juan Carlos Osorio, who had been influenced by the English game during time spent studying at Liverpool John Moores University.
When applying outside influences to a national team, it’s also important to retain a good chunk of the country’s own identity. Though the current version of Brazil is some way from the mythical view of the all singing, all dancing Jogo Bonito Brazil, it is the closest it has been to this stereotype in a long time.
Tite imparts his own influences on his players with man management skills which may be unmatched in the world of football. He picks the players he trusts, the players who deserve to be there, and then supports them to the hilt, especially in public.